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Manulife selling Taiwan life insurance business for $25-million

A pedestrian walks past the Manulife building in downtown Vancouver.

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

Manulife Financial Corp. said Wednesday it is parting ways with its 11-year-old Taiwanese life insurance business for about $25-million.

The buyer is CTBC Life Insurance Co., Ltd., which is the insurance arm of a large financial services holding company in Taiwan that provides many banking services. It will take on all of Manulife's employees and agents in Taiwan.

Manulife has operated the life insurance business in Taiwan since 1992 and has grown the subsidiary to more than 1,000 insurance agents on the ground.

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The insurance business is competitive across Asia, and particularly crowded on the island of Taiwan. Manulife has recently made product changes to the business line there.

Developing the company's other business in Asia has been a key part of its corporate development strategy. Manulife is one of the largest foreign insurers in China, and is also prominent in Vietnam and Hong Kong.

The insurer also has an asset management business in Taiwan, which it said is separately managed and won't be affected by this deal. Manulife Asset Management (Taiwan) Co. Ltd. was acquired by Manulife in 2008 and sells mutual funds and other investments, which have been performing well in recent months. The company said in a statement that it "remains committed to its asset management operations in Taiwan"

Manulife reports earning on August 8, and declined to provide additional colour in advance of their reporting. The insurer noted only that the transaction "is not expected to have a material impact on Manulife Financial Corporation's consolidated financial results."

The transaction should close by the end of 2013, pending regulatory and other approvals.

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About the Author
Financial Services Reporter

Jacqueline Nelson is a financial services reporter at the Report on Business. Prior to that she was a staff writer at Canadian Business magazine, covering news and writing features on a wide variety of subjects. More

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